Accident Database

Report ID# 2783

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water
  • High Water

Accident Description

Father, son perish in rafting accident June 28, 2008

Post-Tribune staff and wire reports

Two area men who died in a rafting trip in the Yukon Territory in Canada on June 18. Joseph Kimmel Leffel, 58, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and his son, Jeremiah, 34, of Chesterton were ejected from their raft on the Alsek River in Yukon's Kluane National Park. Visitation is schedule from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at White-Love Funeral Home, 525 S. 2nd St. in Chesterton. 

This was the Leffels' third trip to the park. They were part of a group of five Americans, and were five days into a two-week trip through the park. The incident occurred at a treacherous area of rapids called Lava North. The three survivors were stranded on the Alsek River bank for two days before authorities were alerted. It is in a remote area of the park, about 70 miles from the nearest road. A coroner's investigation hasn't determined if the Leffels drowned or succumbed to hypothermia. The park is in the southeast corner of the Yukon Territory, north of British Columbia.

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